Friday, 16 July 2021
Nursing Homes Support Scheme (Amendment) Bill 2021: Committee and Remaining Stages
Eugene Murphy (Fianna Fail)
As the Minister of State pointed out, what we are dressing here is an anomaly relating to the 2009 scheme. The Bill will be a real game changer for people. As the Minister of State has said, the amount of representation we have received over the years on rectifying this, particularly from the farming community and the small business community, has been significant. I have already received representations from people via email and text stating that they are very happy with what is happening here today. It creates another sound option for them.
I noticed something this year, and perhaps it was a result of Covid. In the counties I am involved with most, namely, Galway and Roscommon, two elderly people in difficult situations were heading for nursing home care, which is not what they or their families wanted. Grants for older people and disability grants meant the families were able to bring the homes up to a safety standard that enabled the people to stay in their homes. Senator Higgins made some very valid points but the real issue is to get rid of the roadmap that is there. I did not have an opportunity to speak earlier. The Minister of State has done incredible work in this area, which is acknowledged and recognised. It was not easy. This is a major step forward.